Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Star Wars: Rebel Assault (Mega CD / Sega CD review)

Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts
Released: 1993

Star Wars: Rebel Assault is an on-rails shooter that was also released on the 3DO, Mac and MS-DOS.


There's 15 missions and you play as a young pilot called Rookie One who's attempting to destroy the evil Empire once and for all. The game gets off to a bad start with its third-person flying stage as the controls are very jittery and there's no shadows to show where you are in relation to the walls. The follow-up stage sees you destroying target drones from a top-down perspective but the grainy graphics make it hard to see the terrain which damages your T-16. However, if you bear with the game it eventually moves onto a first-person section where you shoot asteroids while completing minor QTE events; it looks incredible, controls well and feels immersive. Later on, there's a truly amazing mission where you circle a Super Star Destroyer and destroy its shield generators while TIE Fighters fly in on your direction. Other cool moments include a Snowspeeder section where you gradually deplete the armour from an Imperial Walker while avoiding it's blaster beams; I love the camera that swoops around to make you feel like a true fighter pilot! There's also a static third-person shooting area where you're on-foot and need to defeat Stormtroopers as they enter the screen; you can even choose from multiple paths for added replayability. Ultimately though you will return to the awful third-person flying sections with the added awkwardness of having to shoot TIE Fighters at the same time. Thankfully there's unlimited continues as well as a password feature that lets you pick up where you left off. The FMV clips are great and the voice samples and music give the game a real theatrical feel.

Star Wars: Rebel Assault is an ambitious game with lots of variety and excellent presentation. It does have some terrible third-person flying missions but if you persist there's some amazing set-pieces with great controls, fun settings and satisfying gameplay.



Random trivia: In 1995 a sequel was released on Mac, PC and PlayStation called Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire.

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